Free virtual Medicare open enrollment workshop set for Oct. 25
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A free, one-hour virtual workshop to help Medicare recipients understand what drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans will be available in El Dorado County in 2023 is scheduled from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25.
A one-hour question and answer period will follow the workshop. The workshop, which will be held via Zoom, is presented by the non-profit El Dorado County Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.
The workshop will help Medicare enrollees prepare for open enrollment, which is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. The enrollment period is one of the few times Medicare beneficiaries can change, enroll into, or dis-enroll from a Medicare Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan (such as an HMO). If switching plans, enrollment in the new plan will take effect January 1, 2023.
In 2022, there are 25 Medicare Part D drug plans and six Medicare Advantage Part C plans available in El Dorado County. The workshop will focus on Medicare options available to El Dorado County residents in 2023.
To access the online workshop, go to http://www.HICAPservices.net/events. The workshop will be offered as a webinar with slides, as well as audio-only by telephone. No registration is required. After the workshop, a recording of it will be available at http://www.HICAPservices.net/events
“Each year Medicare drug plans can and do change the list of covered drugs or the price of those drugs,” said Rhoda Slagle, regional coordinator for the El Dorado County HICAP. “These changes can lead to considerably higher out-of-pocket costs for seniors if they stay with the same plan. Research shows that people who take the time to review their plan choices each year can often significantly reduce their prescription drug costs by switching to a different Part D drug plan.
“Medicare beneficiaries should be wary of media promotions about specific benefits in Medicare Advantage Plans,” Slagle added. “Television ads about Medicare advantage benefits can be grossly misleading. Residents need to know which Medicare Advantage plans are available in El Dorado County and that some plans may not include all of the benefits promoted in television ads.”
El Dorado County HICAP can help Medicare beneficiaries review either their Part D drug plan choices or their Medicare Advantage Plan choices for 2023. To receive HICAP assistance, county residents can pick-up and return to the Placerville Senior Center a completed “HICAP/Medicare Worksheet for 2023.” During Medicare Open Enrollment, the HICAP Medicare Worksheets are available at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center, the Placerville Senior Center, and the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center.
Worksheets are also available by request at each of the six public libraries in El Dorado County. In addition, worksheets can be requested by calling El Dorado HICAP at 530-621-6169.
Throughout the year HICAP also provides free, unbiased, individual counseling about Medicare to residents. To request an appointment, call 530-621-6169. The number of appointments is limited, so calling early is recommended. HICAP is not associated with any insurance company. The program works in partnership with older adult programs of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency.For information about other older adult services in El Dorado County, visit https://www.edcgov.us/SeniorService.aspx.
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